American Prodigy: The Kid

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What ever happened to Ken Griffey Jr., our love for him, and our love for baseball? Seattle musician and friend of Griffey, Kid Sensation (Xola Malik), as well as producer Alex Ward, rehash the life and career of one of sports most misunderstood superstars, and examine America’s relationship with baseball, music, race, celebrity and success.

Blue Wire


    • Jul 19, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • monthly NEW EPISODES
    • 35m AVG DURATION
    • 33 EPISODES
    • 3 SEASONS


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    Latest episodes from American Prodigy: The Kid

    Torched Season 2 - Breaking

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2022 37:35

    The second season of TORCHED with Molly Bloom just launched this month. Listen to the new episode here.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Finding Freedom in the Air

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 18, 2022 36:43

    Host Amira Rose Davis and story editor Jessica Luther recap their highlights from the American Prodigies series, talk about the gymnasts and topics that they wished they could have covered, and consider whether to abandon gymnastics or whether there's something there worth believing in.   Click here for the transcript of episode 9 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Brown Girls Doing Gymnastics

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 11, 2022 50:28

    Brown Girls Do Gymnastics was born in 2015 with a mission to serve underrepresented and marginalized athletes in gymnastics and the circus arts. Its founder, Derrin Moore, talks to Amira about her work – from teaching parents how to advocate for their children in this particular sport, to launching a women's gymnastics program at Fisk University. Click here for the transcript of episode 8 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Some Serious Pressure: Simone Biles

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 4, 2022 57:24

    **Content note** This episode contains graphic accounts of sexual abuse and child neglect. There are also accounts of physical and emotional abuse, suicidal ideation, and racism. In 2016, both Simone and Gabby are on the world's stage — and USAG starts to crack. There's no accountability, just complete institutional failure to protect young women in this sport and it's starting to boil over. Jordan Chiles, Jessica Luther, mental health expert Alanna Gardner, and Nellie Biles talk about the crucial period between 2016 and 2021 — the role Simone played in it — and the toll being a symbol with power can take. Click here for the transcript of episode 7 Click here for the Blue Wire newsletter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Some Serious Pressure: Simone Biles

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 4, 2022 57:32

    **Content note** This episode contains graphic accounts of sexual abuse and child neglect. There are also accounts of physical and emotional abuse, suicidal ideation, and racism. In 2016, both Simone and Gabby are on the world's stage — and USAG starts to crack. There's no accountability, just complete institutional failure to protect young women in this sport and it's starting to boil over. Jordan Chiles, Jessica Luther, mental health expert Alanna Gardner, and Nellie Biles talk about the crucial period between 2016 and 2021 — the role Simone played in it — and the toll being a symbol with power can take. Click here for the transcript of episode 7 Click here for the Blue Wire newsletter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    And The Crowd Is Loving It: Sophina DeJesus and Nia Dennis

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 28, 2022 53:33

    This episode looks at how Black gymnasts came to create spaces of joy for themselves and how college programs benefited from that. After Olympic dreams are dashed because of injury, some elite gymnasts, like Sophina DeJesus and Nia Dennis, opt to compete at top-notch college programs. Sophina and Nia talk about their journeys at UCLA and how they created floor routines viewed by millions online. Valorie Kondos Field (“Miss Val”), UCLA's famed retired head coach, describes the diversity at UCLA gymnastics as a happy accident. The gymnasts' mothers, Maria DeJesus and Deetra Dennis share the different paths they took to protect their daughters while encouraging them to embrace their authentic selves.  Click here for the transcript of episode 6 Click here for the Blue Wire Newsletter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Nobody Has Beyoncé's Weavologist: Gabby Douglas

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 21, 2022 42:18

    Amira has a conversation with Dr. Samantha Sheppard and Dr. Courtney Cox answering, “Whatever happened to Gabby Douglas?” The trio zoom in and out of Gabby's career, highlighting her as a transitional figure between Black pioneers like Dominique Dawes and today's media savvy icons like Simone Biles. They also share their personal experiences as Black women in academia to help bring context to what Gabby was up against as a Black girl in white spaces. Click here for the transcript for episode 5 Click here for the Blue Wire newsletter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    She Was Just Everything To Me: Dominique Dawes

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 14, 2022 48:02

    When you ask people of a certain age to remember the first Black gymnast, odds are they'll remember Dominique Dawes. What they don't remember – or maybe never knew about – is the immense pressure that she faced as a Black prodigy in the sport. Today, Dominique is using her powerful legacy to distance herself from USA Gymnastics and ensure that future gymnasts have the childhood she never did. Click here for the transcript of episode 4 Click here for the Blue Wire newsletter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    I Wanted Freedom: Betty Okino

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 7, 2022 53:37

    Betty Okino started gymnastics “late” — at age 9 — and begged her mother to let her train with Bela Karolyi so that she could realize her Olympic dream. She won bronze medals at the 1992 Olympics. And despite having stories of training until her knees and back broke, being denied food, and being pitted against her teammates, it was only recently that she began to admit to herself that Karolyi's training methods constituted abuse. Now, as a coach and choreographer, Betty approaches her responsibilities very differently.   Click here for the transcript of episode 3 Click here for the Blue Wire newsletter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Life Is Too Short To Be Bitter: Dianne Durham

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 28, 2022 50:33

    Dianne Durham could have represented the United States at the 1984 Olympics in LA, but she was injured during trials. A combination of racism and internal gymnastics coaching politics meant that she was unable to petition for a spot on the team. In this episode, we give the trailblazer the flowers she deserved – almost four decades overdue. Click here for the transcript for episode 2 Click here for the Blue Wire newsletter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    We're Inevitable

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 21, 2022 45:19

    Jordan Chiles tells Amira about losing her love for gymnastics and how she discovered who she wanted to become – just in time to win a silver medal in Tokyo in 2021.  Click here for the transcript of episode 1 Click here for the Blue Wire newsletter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Trailer: American Prodigies: The Rise of Black Girls in Gymnastics

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 14, 2022 2:56

    This season of American Prodigies is the story of how Black girls moved from the margins of gymnastics to the core. You'll hear from trailblazers and viral sensations – coaches and mentors and trainers – journalists and academics – and athletes themselves – as we unpack what it means to be a Black girl in gymnastics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Preview: The Next American Prodigies

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 14, 2022 25:00

    Amira talks with her Burn It All Down cohost, Jessica Luther, about what to expect from this season of American Prodigies Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Skates Unlaced with Adam Rippon

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 18, 2022 38:58

    The exciting inaugural episode of the Gold Medal Loser Podcast! Olympic figure skater, Adam Rippon dazzles LoLo with his bold voice and big personality. Find out what these two have in common from “Dancing to the Stars,” ESPN The Magazine's “The Body Issue,” and Taylor Swift. Plus, you don't want to miss Adam's thoughts on skating in jeans. Listen to new episodes of Gold Medal Loser every Tuesday. Subscribe here. ⏰ Chapters ⏰ 00:00 Discover Ad #1 00:16 Pre-Tease 00:27 Music Show Open 00:33 Guest Welcome/Hi Hello 01:10 Guest Background Intro 08:37 Experiences doing ESPN the Magazine Body Issue 12:04 Biggest Success/ Biggest Failure 17:48 Discover Ad #2 18:19 Hot Topics 26:22 Hot off the press with Adam Rippon 30:17 Who ya gonna call? 33:00 Worst Advice/Best Advice 38:20 Good bye/Thank you ► YouTube!

    The Rumor

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2021 53:15

    A seemingly innocuous conversation at a birthday party starts Sam and Mac down a long and winding road of rumors, conspiracy theories, and legends, all connected to a mysterious power outage in 1997. Along the way, they meet a shock jock, a disgraced journalist, and a very creaky mailbox. By the time they pause to consider how far they really want to travel down this treacherous path, they realize it's too late to turn back. Grab new episodes of The Rumor every Monday. Listen and subscribe here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Introducing NBA Storytime

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 21, 2021 1:00

    The NBA is serious basketball, but sometimes, things get silly. Comedian Jamel Johnson regales you with short tales of hornswoggled hoops, bonkers ball, and naughty NBA shenanigans, then discusses what we've learned with comedy and basketball folks who watched or were there. Listen to NBA Storytime every Wednesday and Friday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    The Last Swing

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2021 38:03

    In June of 2010, hours before the Mariners hosted the Twins, a 40-year-old Ken Griffey Jr. got into his car and drove out of Seattle. He told no one that he was leaving, and told no one where he was going. Instead of a farewell tour, Junior retired from baseball driving for two straight days from Washington to Florida to return home—for good. In many ways, his retirement—both the way that it was received and the reason he chose to do it that way—is the best portrait of Griffey's legacy, forcing us to ask the question: did we need him more than he needed us? Presented by Coors Light Brought to you by Roman: getroman.com/prodigy American Prodigy listeners! We want to learn more about you! Please fill out this quick survey.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    What the F*** is a Met?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2021 42:09

    If Ken Griffey Jr. was the charismatic new face of MLB who brought tons of new fans to the sport, why has baseball's popularity continued to decline over the last two decades? And, why has the number of Black ballplayers declined, too? Was The Kid baseball's last black superstar? For a sport that's always been known as America's pastime, baseball can't seem to stay in touch with America. Presented by Coors Light Brought to you by Roman: getroman.com/prodigy American Prodigy listeners! We want to learn more about you! Please fill out this quick survey.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Do Your Thing

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 27, 2021 40:24

    In 1999, Griffey was in the prime of his career with the Mariners. Yet, instead of playing out his last season, he turned down an extension, requested a trade, and was shipped to the Cincinnati Reds. Was Ken giving up on Seattle? Or was he truly looking to have a homecoming both on and off the diamond? Presented by Coors Light Brought to you by Roman: getroman.com/prodigy American Prodigy listeners! We want to learn more about you! Please fill out this quick survey.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Griffey To The Max

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 20, 2021 39:35

    After the strike, Griffey became a superstar on and off the field. From cameos on “The Simpsons” and “Fresh Prince,” to record-selling video games and a signature Nike shoe, The Kid had taken over popular culture. Griffey was becoming a brand all to himself, paving the way for the athletes of today. But, one thing that comes with blazing a trail, is that it's hard to figure out. For Ken, it led to a breaking point.   Presented by Coors Light  Brought to you by Roman: getroman.com/prodigy  American Prodigy listeners! We want to learn more about you! Please fill out this quick survey.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    The Two Kids

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 13, 2021 38:03

    He's remembered as one of the biggest stars in America and a 90's cultural icon, yet somehow, it seems like Griffey's legacy has gone missing. Where did it go?   Musician Kid Sensation (Xola Malik) and producer Alex Ward revisit the origins of Ken's early success in high school and with the Mariners, Xola's own beginnings with Sir Mix-a-Lot's crew, and the moment these two Kids crossed paths in Seattle.    Presented by Coors Light Brought to you by Roman: getroman.com/prodigy American Prodigy listeners! We want to learn more about you! Please fill out this quick survey.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Trailer: American Prodigy: The Kid

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 6, 2021 1:45

    What ever happened to Ken Griffey Jr., our love for him, and our love for baseball? Seattle musician and friend of Griffey, Kid Sensation (Xola Malik), as well as producer Alex Ward, rehash the life and career of one of sports most misunderstood superstars, and examine America's relationship with baseball, music, race, celebrity and success. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Preview: The Next American Prodigy

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 6, 2021 23:29

    Grant Wahl is back to introduce Season 2 of American Prodigy. Grant talks to Xola Malik and producer Alex Ward about "The Kid," his impact on Seattle, baseball, and 90's culture. What ever happened to "The Kid," our love for him, and our love for baseball? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    S1 Bonus: The Breakdown

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 12, 2021 36:39

    Grant sits down with producer Harry Swartout and goes behind the scenes of the making of American Prodigy: Freddy Adu. What did it take to get the interviews done in a pandemic? Did Freddy's penchant for trash talk ever land him in trouble? What really went down between Grant and Jaleel White at the MLS Cup? Grant tells all and plays quality audio we just didn't have time for in the story. American Prodigy listeners! We want to learn more about you! Please fill out this quick survey.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    S1 Ep. 7: The Return

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 5, 2021 31:47

    While this podcast was being made, 31-year-old Freddy signed with Swedish third-division club Österlen, his first pro club in two years. Playing now for the love of the game, Freddy discusses his unexpected opportunity and what he has learned from being an American Prodigy. Is this the beginning of a great comeback? Or are we letting unreasonably high expectations get ahead of Freddy once again? American Prodigy listeners! We want to learn more about you! Please fill out this quick survey.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    S1 Ep. 6: Freddy's Legacy

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2020 40:43

    It's been two years since Freddy played competitive soccer, but at age 31 he's still trying to make a comeback, even as he teaches the next generation. Today is a new world in American soccer, where the best prospects leave for Europe and developmental academies stateside grow to provide support for America's next prodigy. What happens to the next Freddy Adu? Are we ready for the next American Prodigy? Are they already here? Grant Wahl examines. American Prodigy listeners! We want to learn more about you! Please fill out this quick survey.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    S1 Ep. 5: All Falls Down

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 15, 2020 40:50

    After a championship-winning rookie season, anything seemed possible for Freddy. Yet over the next 14 years, Freddy would play for more than a dozen teams in MLS, Europe, South America and the USL, slowly turning from an American Prodigy into a cautionary tale. Short flashes of success in summer tournaments provided flickering glimpses of hope that Freddy would gain traction and turn into a superstar. But Adu could never establish consistency at the club level. Grant Wahl watched Freddy struggle to build momentum in his career as it faded away. What went wrong? American Prodigy listeners! We want to learn more about you! Please fill out this quick survey.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    S1 Ep. 4: That Smile

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 8, 2020 33:54

    Freddy Adu had a million dollar smile. He flashed it on the field when he beat defenders twice his age. He showed it for the media when he gave interviews and posed for photographs. And he turned it on as D.C. United got hot down the stretch and made a push for the 2004 MLS Cup. But Grant Wahl noticed that as Freddy's rookie season wore on, the 15-year-old's smile began to fade. Was the pressure that Freddy felt finally getting to him? American Prodigy listeners! We want to learn more about you! Please fill out this quick survey.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    S1 Ep. 3: Young and Black in America

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2020 32:51

    Not even Freddy was ready for the passionate response to him from Black Americans, many of whom had rarely engaged with MLS or soccer before. American soccer has long been a country-club sport—largely white and upper-middle-class—but Freddy's race, potential and extreme youth helped make him a cultural touchstone who transcended sports. They also left him virtually alone in locker rooms full of white men old enough to be his father. Grant Wahl saw a teenager constantly surrounded by media, teammates and fans, but was he really connecting with any of them? American Prodigy listeners! We want to learn more about you! Please fill out this quick survey.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    S1 Ep. 2: The Freddy Adu Show

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2020 38:34

    Freddy stepped off the stage of his introductory MLS press conference and right onto The Late Show with David Letterman. Before Adu had even played a pro game, MLS promoted its fresh-faced teen superstar with commercials alongside Pelé, feature stories and magazine covers in order to save a league in desperate financial straits. Freddy Mania put butts in the seats for the 2004 season, but it also set expectations unbelievably high. No one even knew if he was going to start games. Grant Wahl watched the pressure mount, wondering: “Can Freddy handle the hype?” American Prodigy listeners! We want to learn more about you! Please fill out this quick survey.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    S1 Ep. 1: The Legend of Freddy Adu

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2020 39:06

    In the streets of Ghana, Freddy played with boys twice his age. In the D.C. suburbs, Freddy went from playing at recess to dominating travel tournaments all within a week. Just six months into his stay at the prestigious IMG Academy in Florida, Freddy was at the top of the class. He had teams in England, Italy, Spain and America salivating as they waited for him to turn pro. That was before he dominated the FIFA U-17 World Championship. Grant Wahl knew it was time for Freddy to sign, but where? American Prodigy listeners! We want to learn more about you! Please fill out this quick survey.      Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Preview: Finding Freddy

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 12, 2020 2:22

    When Nike signed thirteen-year-old Freddy Adu to a million dollar contract, they thought he could be bigger than Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and LeBron James. As it turned out, however, Freddy never lived up to the hype. Soccer journalist Grant Wahl investigates the impossible expectations that were placed on the teenager, and discusses with Freddy just how much of the blame lies on the media, MLS, and Freddy himself. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    S1 Trailer: American Prodigy: Freddy Adu

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 8, 2020 3:05

    He was an American Prodigy. The next Pelé. The savior of U.S. Soccer. But he wasn't even old enough to drive. In 2004, Freddy Adu joined MLS at 14 years old becoming the youngest American pro athlete in 100 years. His story is a tale of talent, money, fame and futbol. Soccer journalist Grant Wahl retraces the legend of Freddy as he went from superstar to one of the biggest “what ifs,” asking, what determines who “makes it,” who “doesn't,” and what does all of it say about us? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

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